June 28, 2011

Clifford Makeover

When Dave & I first bought Clifford (our big red couch) my plan was to switch out the pillows every season.  The pillows that we picked out for Clifford are cute and all - polka dot multi colored thangs:

Ok so it's hard to see them here, they looked sorta striped.  But they are dots, in a row, all different colors.  Anyways, I'm sick of them.  Too matchy matchy.  Clifford needed a face lift!  Originally I was going to make covers for these, I wanted to add hints of yellow & green in here, I'm dying to layer some color in.  Since our (to be) Tuscan kitchen is yellows and hints of reds and green, and our NYC dining room is red and black with hints of yellow and green, I wanted to continue the color scheme through our London family room. 

But...my friend Katie & I were in IKEA and I saw these pretty white-ish pillow cases, all for under $10.  I found the embroidered one and though, "man, that is really English looking!  and so cute!"  Katie agreed.  So we started pulling different white-ish pillow cases until I found a system I loved!!  It looks so cute on Clifford, really brightens him and the room up:

 I love how the whole attitude of the room has changed now!  I love how it is DIFFERENT and still flows with the rest of the house, but it has it's own personality now.  I talk about the design likes it's living or something...lol.  Anyways, its so fun!  I also love mixing the patterns and textures.  It's a nice layer effect.  Here is a wider shot:

See how it opens and lightens up our room?  Love it!  Please excuse our lack of curtains here, I have to figure out how to work curtains on these windows - it'll be tricky getting the curtain rods up on this ones??  Here is another shot:

I like them way better then the polka dot ones, they were TOO, now that I am seeing a lighter option!  Maybe the darker ones can be our "winter" pillows?  So the three square pillows are our original pillows with covers on them.  The rectangle embroider pillow is new all around, the case was $10 and the pillow was $3.  The 3 square covers where $6 each for the two blue dots and $7 for the solid, textured white.  So $32 altogether for this couch makeover!  Not to shabby:)  I love Ikea!

Reading Challenge update:  still on Uglies!  I have a list of books to read that is grown a mile a minute!  I can't keep up!!!  I also was to break down and read HP SOOOO bad!  Maybe not all of it, maybe just book 7 - it's too hard to stay away;)

June 26, 2011

Good Will Hunting

I think I've said already that my mom and I have been going to Good Will a lot.  I've been finding all sorts of goodies that I can re purpose (like spray paint or decoupage, etc).  I love doing this - it's a new hobby!!  What is better then finding something SUPER cheap - O and making it pretty again!

Case & point, I bought these 5 ugly brass candle sticks...

 ....and using these simple tools (rustoleum hammered paint, a wire wool sander thing-a-ma-bob ((that's it's official name of course)) and a damp rag) I can create something beautiful!!  I scrubbed the brass candle sticks down with the thing-a-ma-bob to get all the rough stuff off and to help the paint stick.  Then I wiped them down with the rag to get all the extra stuff off.

 Then I spray painted them 2-3 times on this side, then I turned them over after letting them dry to the touch (about hour just to be sure, the can says you can touch it after 15 mins) and sprayed them again, making sure I got the tops and the bottoms so all the brass yuckiness is completely covered.  I hate brass, did I say that already?  So gross...

 Here is my finished product!  Aren't they so cute?

They look like new!  I love how they look up on my shelf in our dining room.  I actually like them without any candles in them, all different heights!  I may put sticks in them eventually.

Love it!  I get all giddy when I re purpose things.  Its fun!

I also bought this old mirror.  I didn't take any pre pics (sorry!) I was so into my spray painting!  I just took it out there while I was waiting for the candle sticks to dry.  It was white with weird windmills and flowers painting all over it.  I sanded this and wiped it down, and then sprayed it the same color...

It now lives in our master bath on this weird shelf thing we have behind our bathtub.  I wanted to get a mirror to keep our candles on.  Makes it a little...romantic with all the light reflecting in the mirror.  Our "city" theme in here is the Mediterranean, although we haven't done a lot with it yet.  Hence the pretty blue vases, also Good Will finds!

See how nice the mirror looks?!  The last time we went to the Good Will was a glass themed trip.  It seemed like my mom and I bought lots of glass!  I bought this cool apothecary jar and two little tea light candle holders that I have stacked together here for some interesting height.  They live on "the shelf" for now...


FYI my camera sucks.  I just got it in November, but it sucks.  I want a really nice one next, with all the lens and all that!  Maybe when I start my new job!

Anyways, that's all for now.  I've got other Good Will things to work on, and will be sharing them this week!  Have you done anything like this before? 

I have started reading Uglies but Scott Westerfield.  Should be finished in a day or two, review to come! 


June 22, 2011

Oh Rustoleum, how I have found you!

....just wanted you to know that I bought "hammered" nickel colored Rustoleum spray paint today to "re purpose" some Good Will findings!

My mom and I have this new tradition of going to Good Will on Wednesdays because it's Senior day and unfortunately but fortunately, she qualifies for.  So we spend an hour looking around for stuff we really do NOT need, but it's fun anyways.  You know what they say, trash....treasure...all that.  I love seeing the potential in things:)  I've spent (well, actually...mom buys the stuff and adds it as part of my payment for helping her this summer) around $20 on some really cute stuff!  All to be revealed in good time...

Anyways, I have been spray painting away and I shall share these things with you tomorrow, since it's 10:31 pm EST and taking pictures with my stinky camera wouldn't do the newly painted guests any justice!

I used to think spray painting was dumb and such a no-no...but apparently there is this whole new wave of spray painting goodness going on in the decor world, and I am glad to be a part of it!!  Woo hoo!!!  Where do I sign in?

Anyone else spray painting things?

Under construction

Please excuse the messy blog as I try to update the look.  I need a degree in graphic design, this stuff is hard!!!


June 21, 2011

Holy Herbs!

All of a sudden, our garden exploded!!  Our Hydrangea is like....WHOA!  Our front garden is like hey, WHOA!  Our herbs are like....um WHOA!

So, I had to do some population control.  Now our house has some pretty decor....


All lined up in a row.

Now book reviews today.  I haven't even started a new book yet - but I will tonight.  I'm starting the Uglies (from the Ugly/Pretty/Special) series.  Sounds pretty interesting - its young adult lit which, you may know already, is one of my faves!

Hows everyone summer going?  Anyone reading anything good??? 

June 20, 2011

Summer breeze...

Yes yes another post!

First I wanted to share the gift Ash & I made for Dave, it's so super cute:

She put on each of Dave's 3 Ravens jerseys and we took a bunch of pictures of her in each jersey with the D & the A, to spell out D-A-D...we did it this way so he can hang it in his "man cave" which is themed Baltimore (mostly Ravens stuff, of course!)  Isn't it so sweet?!  We took the pics outside in our garden to add a nice punch of color.  He loved it.

Today was a super fun summer day!  First it started with my BFF Heather coming to visit for a bit.  Then, Dave & I played tennis for about an hour - it was so fun.  I used to play tennis in high school and really love playing the game and it's such a great workout!  I'm so sore!!  We've been trying to work out more (we are joining a gym soon!) and be healthy - tennis is a great activity to do together too, we are so silly:)

Later, we picked Ash up from Soccer & Music camp and we went to the pool.  There is this public pool nearby that is only $4 to get in, no membership needed, and if you go after 4pm its only $3, which we did!  It turned out to be a pretty day, sun came out and warmed up the world!  This pool is in a cool location - its up on top of a cliff over the Susquehanna, so the views are really pretty & relaxing.  Some pics I snapped...

 I took this right when we arrived...so refreshing looking, right?
Thats Dave & Ash in the pool, they are playing some weird game called "Colors" where they just dunk each other, lol.  Such fun!

Now Ash & I are watching The Bachelorette!!!  It's been a nice day overall...Thank you Jesus for beautiful days like this:)

I linked up with a bowl full of lemons !

June 19, 2011

Triple dog book review

That is right, folks!!  I have read three books, and need to catch up on my reviews!!!

The first book is

This book is the original story behind the musical.  Um....let me just say the musical is a lot more kid and Christian friendly!!  The book is graphic, sometimes gross, but it tells the story way more in depth then the musical.  So, if you loved Wicked the Musical, and you are an ADULT, read this book if you want the whole story!  If you are under 18, don't read it....just saying;)  I liked it, but it took me a while to read it, it wasnt a I-need-to-read-you-and-finish-you-right-now book.  I give it a:

It's not that I didnt like it...it just wasnt the best.  Sorry Mr. Maguire.  I'm sure there are a lot of other people that do like this writing though.  It is interesting to read a different take on a story we know so well.  It is about the birth of the Wicked Witch of the West, Fabala (which btw, is a spin of Frank L Baum's name...FLB, FaBaLa...cool, huh?  That info is something I read in the back of the book) and how she deals growing up "Green".  The book is very political.  I wish I was interested in politics - if you do, you may like this, you may find parallels to politics in our world...but I'm just not into that!  Fabala goes to college and meets Glinda and they try to understand the world together...and then grow apart.  Fabala has a very trying and twisted life, very sad.  Dorothy has a very small part in this book, but still, it's interesting to get a different view!  Thats enough about that one...

My second review is about

This is the book that is helping me write MY book.  I wanted to write my book in the month of June..but like I've said before - theres a little prep work that has to be done so I'll have to push the actual writing back a month or two.  This book teaches you and guides you through preparing to write a novel in one month.   Usually, National Write A Novel Month is in November but I dont want to wait that long;)  I'll probably read and re-read this book a million times while I write my book.  It's really great! Sweet, simple, and informative.  If you are interested in writing a book, I recommend it!  Its a HOW-TO sort of thing...worth it!!!  I give it a:

It gets that score since it has a lot of good info for me.  It was a very easy read too!

My third review is on:

This book was AWESOME!!  I can't wait for the movie in August!  Seriously....all my friends need to read it so we can go see it together!  This book is about a few different people.  One is Abileen, a black maid for a socialite snob.  One is Skeeter, a socialite who is questioning how "right" it is to treat African Americans so differently then white people.  One is Minny, another black maid for a socialite that speaks her mind on things, she is hilarious.  The setting is Jackson, Mississippi - which was one of the worse places for prejudice and racism in the 60's.  Skeeter wants to be a writer - and write about something that means something to her, so she starts writing a book about what it is like to be a black maid for white, well-off women.  She gets the stories of Aibleen & Minny, with some struggle, and other maids too.  It is such a sweet story about friendship across the races, breaking down the race barriers, and overcoming rich snobbishness.  I loved it.  I started it on Friday and finished it on Saturday.  I highly recommend it!!!  So...I give it a:

So those are my three reviews so far.  I'm not anywhere near my quota, but I still have 11 days to read:)

I hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day!!  I have to post a pic of the present we made for Dave, its really cute.  I will get to that tomorrow!  We had dinner over at my parents, we always eat Teriayki on Father's Day.  Mom makes the meat and we put it on skewers and cook it on little grills out on the patio.  We had corn and crab dip and fun punch and mashed potatoes too.  Yum yum yum.  It's a good thing I skipped breakfast this am!!  It was such a nice evening with my parents, and with Jonathan and Krystal (the newlyweds!) over too.  We are truly blessed to have such a great family! 

Now, it's time to submit to the meat coma and sit on the couch and not move for an hour;)  Maybe read too!

June 15, 2011

One year ago...

On Monday, it was one year since this...

June 13th, 2010 was a magical day!  This year has really flown by.  I feel that to say we made it through a whole year is an accomplishment!  Not that I doubt us by ANY means, its just that we hear a lot that the first year is hard.  Its a true story...the first year IS hard...we are navigating through a whole new life here together at the same time under the same roof...if someone tells me its not that hard, its a lie.  But, more then the struggles of married life, which arent that bad, it really is beautiful!  Having my best friend right there all the time with me, always having someone to laugh or cry or vent to, that is a blessing.  Having some to SHARE life with is amazing.  We've had a great year, lots of fun times & great memories, and hardships that we have gotten through together (ie his dad passing away, me not having a job, things that life just hits us with randomly) we have come so far already and I can't wait to see what years 2 -150 bring;)  I thank God so much for blessing us so much!!  Love you baby:)

To celebrate our one year anniversary, Dave suggested we go to St. Michaels for the day!  It was so fun!  We stopped at St Michaels winery and did some tasting, we walked all up and down the main street there, its SO pretty...

 having a class at St Michaels Winery
 The main street in St Michaels, so so cute!  See, I wore blue & orange - because those were our wedding colors:)
 We left our mark in an little Italian Shoppe, she let us do this, dont worry;)  It will be fun to come back here one day and see this here!
 We did a little walking on the water...well, on the pier of course!
My hair is messy and the sun is glaring, but this is us at the southernmost point of this part of MD...we drove all the way down through Tilghman:)

It was a great day!  My mom made us a fresh cake top to share - since I think ours was ruined and she said she didnt want us eating old cake:

My mom is awesome, look how sweet & cute that little cake is!!!  Thanks Mom!

Overall it was such a wonderful day.  We laughed and joked and loved on each other all day long:) 

I finished Wicked and will be writing that review later.  I'm still slow as molasses on this reading thing...but, I am constantly trying.  I wonder why I was so fast at it in the winter?  Maybe that is just it...it was WINTER!!  Oh well, I'll finish what I can when I can...my goal is still 10 a month!  Not much is getting done in the home decor department, but I did buy something really fun for the kitchen project - I'll leave you hanging on that one!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

June 9, 2011

Where is the time going?!

I thought when I stopped working for the summer, I'd have all this time to do stuff.  Like clean my house, really clean it, and write a book, and do some sewing and reading like crazy and get done tons of projects that need to be done.  This is not so!?!  I'm not sure where my time is going, but it's going there fast;)

I'm only HALF way through Wicked, and HALF way through my No Plot No Problem book (the book that will be helping me write my novel) I'm reading both as the same time.  I havent even started writing my book, I didnt realize that this book I'm reading wants me to prep for my novel just a little bit.  I thought I could just sit down and write it...so I may have to push the actual writing part to July.  Next week I swear I'm take one whole day to just read.  I'll finish those to books and start another.  I'm just not FAST with the reading anymore.  We have so much going on!

Tomorrow we are off to Pittsburgh (yuck.  we. hate. the. steelers. !!!!!) to see our friends James & Laura get married:)  It'll be good times, besides the Pittsburgh part!  So more posts/pics coming this weekend.  I'll finally get my bros pics up (the ones I took) and hopefully have some reviews to share! 

I need to get better at reading.  And blogging.  Sorry folks:)  Have a good weekend!

June 3, 2011

Water for Elephants

I just finished a book!  WOOOooooo....I'm on a roll!

I finished Water for Elephants, it was really good!  Its about a boy named Jacob who loses his parents in an accident, and therefore everything the family owns.  It takes places during the depression, so its a time when money and banks and all that stuff is going crazy!  Anyways, poor Jacob loses everything and runs off to join a circus, where he is hired as the vet (just an exam shy of being an ivy league vet graduate).  There he meets Marlena, one of the beautiful performers, and falls head over heels for her.  Trouble is, she is married the the director of animals....who is schizophrenic.  WHOOPS!!!  Its a good book, really good.  Has a lot of adult material in it though, which I could deal without!  Hopefully the movie doesn't have all that craziness in it!  I give it a:

Which means I recommend it...but it wasn't that sorta book that I am desperate to finish in like...a day:)

I'm on to No Plot? No Problem for my next book, this is a book that teaches me how to write a 50,000 word novel in a month - which I am doing!  It's so crazy and weird and who knows if it'll come to anything - but I am doing it.  I am actually already 25 pages into it.  It's got some crazy advice for reading! 

More on that later!  It's been a busy day, a busy week...I'm ready for bed!  Night!

June 2, 2011

Blogger on Iphone!!

Just realized theres an app so I can blog from Phoebe, my loving Iphone:) YAY!!!

From my Iphone,

Catch up....

I'm not talking about the new comcast feature, although I do appreciate that since I missed the Bachelorette on Monday due to Memorial Day festivities....ahh here would be a great place for a picture except I didn't take any, doh!

Life seems to be busy all the time now!  I'm not even working, so what the heck?!?

Many of you (ahem...by many I mean the 5 of you who are devoted to reading about this life, bless you!) are wondering if I met any sort of reading goal in May....yeah....the answer is no;)  May was an all time low for the Tine-ster!  As far as reading goes at least.  As far as life goes, it was SO awesome!  Alas, I only FINISHED 3 books.  3 whole books?  Oh it's so so sad!!!  I started the 4th (Water for Elephants) a few days ago, and as of today I'm only on page 41. 

"What happened to you, Tina??!!??" You may want to ask?!  Well, of course I still love reading.  May was a busy month.  More busy than April, I'm afraid.  By the time I was home, fed, PJ'd and relaxed, I didnt care to pick up a book.  **GASP**.  Sorry, but it's true!  I loved the three books I did manage to read which were Bella Tuscany, the 3rd Mysterious Benedict, and the Honeymoon.  All good books:)

Lets take a walk into the past and talk about what happened to me in May!  The first week of May was a huge professional milestone for me, I planned & coordinated & executed my very first Career Day as a school counselor.  It was awesome.  The end of the 2nd week of May was my brothers wedding, which took up a lot of my time for the first two weeks since I was a bridesmaid, and the daughter of the mother of the groom who was hosting a lot of get togethers + the rehearsal dinner which = I had to help out with a LOT of stuff.  All fun things of course, and I got to spend a lot of time with family and my sis-in-law Krystal whom I adore:)  The 3rd week of May was my last week at the school that I was subbing as a counselor, so prepping the girl I took over for took up my time then.  The weekend after the wedding/last week, Dave whisked me away to Atlantic City for some much needed fun and sun and relaxation.  I took a book, but didnt read it;)  The very last week in May was my first week off, which was filled with cleaning, gardening for the first time, and helping my parents with the everlasting remodel of their house.  Plus the news that I was offered a FULL TIME PERMANENT school counselor position in Harford County next year, which meant lots of fun and celebrations that my 21K Master's degree from Johns Hopkins has FINALLY paid off:)  Then it was Memorial Day Weekend, which graduation parties and cookouts and time with friends and family and the sun and the pool.  That's the jist of my May, loaded into this super long paragraph and lots of run on sentences!

So there are my excuses for not reading in May.  Dave jokes with me because he can't even read ONE book in a year...let alone 3 books in a month - but for me I feel it's pretty sad!  Oh well!  I won't beat myself up about it (as I have said a bizillion times!) because my May was fun and awesome and exhausting but worth every moment.  I definitely reached my Happiness Project goal of enjoying family.  I spend a lot of time with them!!  June is "Write a Book" month and I will post on that tomorrow, I am reallly excited to write a book!  YAY!

I have been working on things!  I promise!!  Here are some pictures to prove it:

 We have been super busy working in our garden!  Here is a pic of the front so far, this part is weeded, planted, mulched and done with daisies, petunias, coleus & some other flowers that are pretty but I don't really know what they are;)

 Same garden, non-inst.agrammed;)
 Our good and lovely friends, Chuck & Blythe, gave us this big lilac bush (center) and two azalea bushes (either side of lilac) and hosta (to the right of lilac and azalea) for free!  We had a huge whole in our garden here because we dug up two of those obnoxious spikey prickely plants that do nothing for me!  Look how nice and full it is now?  We have to plant these, we just got them!
 These are some of my herbs, in a pot hanging on our deck in a semi-shady spot.  Last year my herbs were scorched by the relentless, humid, hot Maryland sun....this is cilantro, rosemary & parsley - oh how I LOVE having fresh herbs to cook with!!
 Our hydrangea that came back full force from last year, that big pot was a wedding gift:)
 The rest of my herbs/veggies from left to right: Thyme, eggplant, basil & mint.  oh la la!  I have a tomato plant too, for some reason I didnt take a pic of him, poor guy - but he isnt much to look at now - just greens....but, with a few farmers market tomatoes, some mozzarella and my fresh basil:
 ...look at the yumminess that is that pic!  Sprinkled with some balsamic vinegar, it was summer in a bite!  Yum!!  We had this as an appetizer to steak and corn the other night.  It was DE-wait for it-LIGHTFUL!  And in other cooking news....

I made Cake Bons!!  These are my cake pops without the stick.  I ran out of sticks actually so I had to improvise!  This lovelies are devils food cake, dipped in chocolate with either Oreos crushed on top, or a marshmallow and graham crackers for a Smore's effect.  So so delectable:)

So those are a few things that have kept me busy.  I am still trying to catch up with the cleaning and the millions of projects I want to get done.  I am going to make a Master List of everything I want to accomplish in my 3 months off (I start work August 22!!!) and I'll post that here.

I also have my 10 books lined up for June, plus the 7 I didnt read in May.  Yeah, I am really going to try to catch up with the reading that has fallen behind...we will see how that goes!  I figured I'd get them all read with all this time off, but my time keeps filling up with other things so fast like helping mom, cleaning, writing, gardening, helping friends, entertaining Ashley, spending time with Dave - all things that are essential to my life and put reading on the back burner!  Oh well, such is life!  I still love reading and will try to slip it in as much as possible - trying to keep that goal up of 120 books this year!

What has everyone else been reading, or have been doing instead of reading?!?  I love the summer weather and will be doing so much of my reading outside over the next few months - there are not a lot of things that compare to breezy summer days with some coffee or iced tea and a book out on our deck!